Protocol - Tobacco - 30-Day Quantity and Frequency - Adolescent

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Measures used to calculate the respondent’s 30-day quantity and frequency use of cigarettes. For the adolescent respondent, there is one set of questions

Specific Instructions:

All adolescent respondents are asked if they smoked in the last 30 days. If the respondent has smoked during the past 30 days, he or she is asked to report the quantity and frequency of cigarette smoking.

The Working Group acknowledges that the following questions may gather sensitive information relating to the use of substances and/or illegal conduct. If the information is released it might be damaging to an individual’s employability, lead to social stigmatization, or other consequences.

For information on obtaining a Certificate of Confidentiality, which helps researchers protect the privacy of human research participants, please go to the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Institutional Review Board website.


1. Now think about the past 30 days - that is, from [DATEFILL*] up to and including today. During the past 30 days, have you smoked part or all of a cigarette?

[ ] 1 Yes

[ ] 2 No

If Question 1 is "Yes," then ask:

2a. During the past 30 days, that is, since [DATEFILL*], on how many days did you smoke part or all of a cigarette?

# OF DAYS: ____ [RANGE: 1 - 30]

Don’t Know / Refused

If Question 2a is "Don’t know" or "Refused," then ask:

2b. What is your best estimate of the number of days you smoked part or all of a cigarette during the past 30 days?

[ ] 1 1 or 2 days

[ ] 2 3 to 5 days

[ ] 3 6 to 9 days

[ ] 4 10 to 19 days

[ ] 5 20 to 29 days

[ ] 6 All 30 days

[ ] Don’t Know / Refused

3. On the [NUMBER OF DAYS REPORTED IN 2a OR 2b] you smoked cigarettes during the past 30 days, how many cigarettes did you smoke per day, on average?

[ ] 1 Less than one cigarette per day

[ ] 2 1 cigarette per day

[ ] 3 2 to 5 cigarettes per day

[ ] 4 6 to 15 cigarettes per day (about 1/2 pack)

[ ] 5 16 to 25 cigarettes per day (about 1 pack)

[ ] 6 26 to 35 cigarettes per day (about 1 1/2 packs)

[ ] 7 More than 35 cigarettes per day (about 2 packs or more)

[ ] Don’t Know / Refused

* DATEFILL is the date 30 days prior to the date of the interview.

Protocol Name from Source:

National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)


Publicly available

Personnel and Training Required

Interviewer must be trained and found competent to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population. The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a "don’t know" response is provided.

Equipment Needs

While the source instrument was developed for administration by computer, the PhenX Expert Review Panel acknowledges that these questions can be administered in a noncomputerized format.

Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Self-administered questionnaire

Life Stage:




Selection Rationale

The protocol from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) was selected because this survey is the primary combined source of information on the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States. The study was initiated in 1971, and it is currently conducted on an annual basis. The NSDUH is a survey that includes all substance use and that is administered to individuals age 12 and older. This survey asks many additional questions that may be more relevant to investigators studying adolescent subjects.


English, Spanish

Common Data Elements (CDE) Tobacco Count in Past 30 Days Adolescent Number 2923449 CDE Browser
Common Data Elements (CDE) Tobacco Adolescent Past Month Consumption Frequency 2923471 CDE Browser
Derived Variables


Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel #3 (ERP 3) reviewed the measures in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Substances, and Substance Abuse and Addiction domains.

Guidance from ERP 3 includes:

• Updated protocol

• New Data Dictionary

Back-compatible: Partially back-compatible (updated/similar protocol which would require some changes to the data dictionary), variable mapping between current and previous protocols can be found here.

Previous version in Toolkit archive (link)


2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. CAI Specifications for Programming, English Version; November 2014 (questions CG05, CG07, CG07DKRE, CG08).

General References


Protocol ID:


Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Substances
Measure Name:

Tobacco - 30-Day Quantity and Frequency

Release Date:

November 21, 2016


Questions asking the respondent about quantity and frequency of cigarette smoking during the past 30 days.


This measure can be used to assess the participant’s exposure to cigarette smoking. The potential of recall bias can be reduced by assessing the respondent’s recent use.


tobacco, smoking, cigarette, exposure, smoking status, second-hand smoke (SHS) or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), amount smoked, nicotine, nicotine dependence, current amount smoked per day, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, NSDUH, U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Prevention, Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey, TUS-CPS, NCI, Centers for Disease Control, CDC